DeWalt dcn21pl review

In this review, the Dewalt dcn21pl cordless framing nailer is used in decking, fencing, or any DIY projects

Experienced professionals and DIY enthusiasts alike understand the importance of having the right tool for the job, and if you need to nail wood, it means having the best nailer. Useful to quickly and easily drive nails inside a material, it comes in various models, and it is essential to choose the right equipment to work in optimal conditions.

Indeed, you can try driving nails into your project in an old-fashioned way, with a hammer and nails. However, this can take more time, require more energy, and probably involve a few broken thumbs. That’s why, for a demanding project, there’s nothing as reliable and efficient as a high-quality nailer.

In this regard, the Dewalt 20V MAX* 21° (DCN21PLM1) is a fast and accurate tool. It can drive a large number of nails consistently and precisely. This nail gun is one of the best tools you can buy, saving you time and trouble. Also, the machine provides you with speed, quality, and strength. These are the critical characteristics of a power tool.

The DeWalt framing nailers are capable of drilling fasteners into the most rigid construction material. Incorporating intense reliability and power with some peculiarities such as optimized rafter hooks and simple jam removal, DeWalt nailers are likely to be a professional option.

Let’s discover the advantages, disadvantages, and other main elements to see if the DeWalt 20v is worth the price or not.

What Is a Battery-Powered Nailer?

As the name suggests, this latest generation nailer is a stand-alone model, 100% battery operated. With cordless technology and total independence, the battery-powered nailer is ideal for work at heights and in hard-to-reach areas. There are two types of nailers on the market: cordless finishing nailers and battery-powered framing nailers.

Compact and lightweight, the DeWalt dcn21pl nailer is an efficient tool that works effortlessly. The tool is equipped with a rapid propulsion system that activates the nails’ projection when the trigger is initiated. There are many options available for purchasing a professional framing nailer machine.

For example, you can find a nailing device with a depth adjustment mechanism or a model provided with a safety feature to block the trigger and avoid accidents.

Some models come with a power cable while others come with a rechargeable battery with variable autonomy. Likewise, it is possible to find an excellent nailer equipped with an automatic shut-off device in case of danger, or a nailing machine with a non-slip handle offering greater comfort of use.

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The new DeWalt 20v MAX cordless framing nailer offers excellent autonomy and comes with a powerful brushless motor that should delight builders and contractors. No compressed air hose or fuel bottle is required. The tool weighs only 10.3 lbs and comes with a compact four Ah, battery. In short, there is no doubt that it has all the potential to get the work done on construction sites.

Also, the cordless nailer features a sequential mode of operation that allows for precise placement. Moreover, it offers excellent production speeds, about two nails per second, and fast-firing sequences with less recoil. Therefore, you can choose between two speeds depending on the nails’ size.

DeWalt dcn21pl Description

The DeWalt 20v battery-powered framing nailer is created to fit into small areas. This tool is developed for professionals. This new generation uses a different model of framing nails that are positioned at 21 degrees. The new plastic collated nailer allows 2 “– 3-1/4” full-round head fasteners with a diameter of 0.113 “– 0.148”.  Thanks to the brushless engine, the tool can have a max runtime of up to 900 nails driven per charge.

Moreover, the machine has two speeds, one level for shorter nails and level two for maximum pin driving engine power using long nails. It features bump and sequential firing functions and a flexible rafter hook that can be moved to the left and right sides. It also has a stall release lever to fix the driver tool in case of a block, an easy-to-access nosepiece for rapid removal of stuck nails, and a dry-fire lockout that stops the device from shooting while the pins are low.

The DeWalt 20v framing nailer offers the quality required by the experts to accomplish the task. Its lightweight shape, excellently-balanced layout, and convenient-to-use functionality make it a highly useful tool capable of producing work accurately and efficiently.

This battery-powered tool can help you work without wasting money on expensive fuel cell upgrades. The enhanced layout of the engine improves power and drive efficiency.

The dcn21pl DeWalt nailer does not need gas nor air. It can also drive the largest diameter fastener in framing applications. Thanks to the cordless operation, the device can work in places that are difficult to access, for example, on heights.

This framing nailer’s convenient features include an accessory-less jam prevention mechanism, tool-less depth adjustment, and a release device. The dcn21pl nailer features a simple, self-contained trigger system that switches its trigger from sequential mode to contact mode for a fast work pace. The tool also includes an adjustable belt hook and multi-function LED lights that illuminate the work surface flash when the battery is low and alerts the user if it is blocked.

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The Key Features

The battery-powered nailer version comes with everything you need to proceed on any framing project. The device also carries up to 49 plastic nails. There’s a rotating rafter hook that can go from the left or right for your comfort.

Ease of Use

The DeWalt nailer stands out at first glance due to its successful ergonomics. The handle is covered with a grip that ensures a secure grip. The machine has a 21° inclined magazine. It is easily inserted and removed in seconds, giving the user the possibility to change the nail’s size.

Moreover, the nailer allows for precision, single-shot nailing, and a fire mode. A selector with a visual indicator is available on the base of the device. You can unlock the nail without tools by merely opening the tab.


The Dewalt dcn21pl is tailored to meet a professional contractor’s requirements or perform tasks such as wall mounting, subfloor construction, and fence building. Solidly designed and flexible, the new cordless nailer features a dual-speed engine. For more outstanding performance, the dcn21pl has a tool-free transition when changing from sequential to contact-fire settings.


Like most other Dewalt products, the cordless framing nailer is supported by a three-year product warranty, a one-year complimentary contract, and a 90-day money-back guarantee from the company.

Safety Features

We highly suggest that you take a quick look at the manual. This is a great way to stay safe when using this device. The first five pages of the manual are devoted solely to security measures. Although this tool could make the work more comfortable, it could be harmful if misused.


The low vibration and noise level makes it comfortable to use. In sequential mode, when the trigger is pulled, the Dewalt nailer’s brushless motor starts working. The device is sturdy and allows you to work quickly.

Finally, the Dewalt nailer works with the different 18V XR Lithium-Ion batteries (2.0 Ah, 4.0 Ah, and 5.0 Ah).


  • Brushless motor offers incomparable autonomy
  • Compact and ergonomic design makes the nailer easy to use
  • Tool-free depth adjustment for accurate nail placement
  • Double security helps prevent accidental shooting
  • No need to buy gas cartridges or maintenance
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  • The tool is awkward sometimes to hold
  • You should refill more often because of the small capacity of the magazine

Comparative Table

Several choices are available if you want to buy a framing nailer. Here are the best framing tools that you may come across on the market.

DEWALT 20V MAX Framing Nailer, 21-Degree, Plastic Collated, Tool Only (DCN21PLB)DEWALT 20V MAX XR Finish Nailer, Angled, 16GA (DCN660D1)BOSTITCH 20V MAX Finish Nailer Kit, Angled, 15GA
Item Weight 10.38 lbs6.00 lbs5.8 lbs
Package Dimensions 18 x 17.5 x 5.8 inches 18.5 x 6.87 x 15.56 inches13.3 x 12.8 x 3.7 inches 
Customer rating4.54.73.9
Power Source TypeBattery-powered Battery-powered Lithium Ion 
Price$ 399$307.72$321.80 

Cordless Gun Nails: A Buying Guide

When you’re ready to buy a nail gun, there are many factors to consider. Reputable manufacturers such as Hitachi, Dewalt, Makita, and countless other brands have excellent nail guns on the market. There are thousands of confusing reviews online. Faced with several types of nail guns available, such as framing nailers, soldering guns, or finishing nailers, determining which tool is best for you can be confusing.

However, choosing the ideal model requires no technical knowledge. In other words, if you are a beginner, you should have no difficulty in selecting the best framing nailer as long as you have understood the essential selection criteria beforehand.

The first feature that should attract your attention is ergonomics. Indeed, a cordless nailer can perform much better. Power is also a significant factor that you should consider.

The other criterion that characterizes the best cordless nailers is the level of safety. This tool’s use is very delicate, so it is advisable to prefer models that are equipped, for example, with a safety catch or an emergency stop system.

How Do You Maintain a Framing Nailer?

Although it is a sturdy tool, it is essential to maintain a framing nailer to ensure its efficiency and longevity. Remember to clean your unit regularly and protect it from external agents that can damage it, such as dust and moisture.


You must thoroughly clean the machine after each use. Regularly remove residual chips and drilling dust from the device and its components. You can use water and a mild cleaning product for this. However, avoid the use of solvents and aggressive chemical solutions, as this may damage the device.


Besides cleaning, consider protecting the bare surfaces of your nailer from corrosion with a rust inhibitor. Finally, always put your tool in its storage case when not in use.

Bottom Line

The Dewalt dcn21pl cordless nailer is a powerful machine that offers considerable productivity gains on construction sites. Dewalt stands out on the nailing market by providing a tool that is easy to use, secure, and maintenance-free.

My father is a practical engineer, and as a hobby he was also involved in construction, renovations, carpentry and woodwork at home; So there was always tools, saws, drills and more at home. Already I was a little kid Dad and I would renovate the house. Once we built a shed for garden tools, once we did flooring for the garden, once we renovated the bathroom and that’s the way it is. Long before there was an internet, directories and plans. We would build things, kitchen cabinets, install electrical appliances, do flooring, pour concrete and more ... I in this blog want to pass on to you the experience I have gained over the last 20 plus-minus years since I was a child to this day and give you information about the best tools, project plans, guides and more.

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